A week after he went missing in northern Israel, 19-year-old soldier Tamer Abu Yemen was found in the hills between the University of Haifa and Nesher, showing signs of violence.
Foul play is suspected, mainly due to the stab wounds on the soldier’s body, but also because he made no indication to his family that he meant to leave home and not return, police said.
Abu Yemen was last seen on February 19 in his hometown of Rama east of Karmiel in the North. When he went missing police launched a search along with members of Abu Yemen’s extended family, who began coming the hills and open areas around his town.
On Wednesday, his body was finally found by relatives and police officers taking part in the searches, on the side of a road near Nesher.
Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the force does not believe the soldier was killed as an act of terrorism. Police have launched an investigation with the assessment that he was likely killed for criminal reasons, he said.
Police are still in the initial stages of the investigation he added, saying they’re keeping other possible explanations for his death open.
According to Abu Yemen’s father, Ali, the soldier enlisted in the IDF in March 2013, but had gone AWOL in order to help provide for his family, which was in financial distress.
Because he’d left the army the case was handled by police and not the Military Police.
Yasser Okbi contributed to this report.